Music festival ticket prices are soaring, two new analyses confirm
Going to a festival has always been expensive. But if you’ve been feeling that things have gotten worse as the pandemic winds down and live music ramps up, there are new stats to confirm it.
High ticket fees are also adding to the pain and top global promoter Live Nation has said that ticket prices will continue to rise as it tests what the market will bear.
The average Festival will gross $10.7M more in 2022
A survey of 150 festival organizers and analysis of 330 music festivals by music data platform Viberate showed that the average 2022 festival will gain $10.7 million from ticket sales over its last outing.
They analyzed festival prices to assess the gain from ticket sales. The festivals in the analysis were divided into five groups: small (up to 5K fans), medium (5–15K), big (15–30K), huge (30–80K), and mega (80K+). The average analyzed festival is expected to gain the following from ticket sales:
- Small: $302K
- Medium: $1.9M
- Big: $5.6M
- Huge: $12.8M
- Mega: $54.0M
The 281 festivals analyzed will generate an estimated $3B in ticket sales. 140 of the analyzed festivals fall into the “huge” category, which is supposed to yield the biggest gains, as seen in the graphic below.
The average ticket price of the analyzed festivals is $195.
In fairness, prices for everything – including putting on a festival – have gone up this year. But it’s also important to remember that ticket sales are just part of any festival’s financials which also include profits from food, drink, parking, merch, and more. These were not included in Vibrate’s assessment.
The Vibrate stats are an eyeopener, but there’s more…
A ticket to Glastonberry will cost $96,032 in 50 years
A decidedly less scientific but still mathematically accurate analysis of price hikes at the UK’s legendary Glastonberry Festival shows that if this year’s trend continues tickets to the legendary festival will cost more than £78,000 or $96,032 by 2072.
That’s a 27,900% increase since the festival started in 1970.
Of course, there will be wage increases between now and then, but not enough to justify a $96,000 ticket. The average weekly pay in 2072 would need to be £83,404 or $102,299 USD to keep up.
“These price projections are unfathomable today, but then again, so is the idea of Glastonbury costing just £1 (in 1970), said John Woosey, founder of musical and musician insurers Insure4Music who conducted the study. “The truth is that nobody really knows what the future is going to look like – but there are some huge changes on the horizon if history is anything, at all, to go by.”
Bruce Houghton is Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank and serves as a Senior Advisor to Bandsintown which acquired both publications in 2019. He is the Founder and President of the Skyline Artists Agency and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.